Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Okay, so some of you have seen Pan's Labyrinth. I personally think the movie is a little too gory for me- but the soundtrack is so good at some parts. Like the three songs; "Ofella," "A Princess," and "Pan's Labyrinth Lullaby." They're all so beautiful. Hmm, what else do I know that is of interest?
Ooh! There's a formal Scottish ball thing our teachers said we could go to... Only, I have no one to go with and nothing to wear, even if they do teach me everything I need to know, and that hardly seems fair. I want to go! I do, I do, I do.
And- the sun showed itself today! It feels like forever since I've seen it! I'm so happy. Less work tonight. Well, same amount of work, more time.
Here's a funny bit of information. Did you know Bard has a socialist organization? That's entertaining.
Oh, and I'm out of chocolate. What a situation to come home to.
I know this isn't very amusing. I'm trying to think of something, really I am.
You know, there is something odd going on. I never really liked turkey on my cold cut sandwiches until I got here. (It is relevant, I promise. I had one for lunch today, along with a bowl of potato soup. Mmm, yummy.)
And no calc 2 quiz today!!! Which means I wasted my time last night studying, but I didn't have to take a quiz I was bound to fail. And she let us out of class thirty minutes early. That was great, too. Even better, I might have time to do something crafty or musical this evening. Who knows? Gotta finish this essay first, though, which means I must say goodbye to all of you, go buy a train ticket, and then finish the essay.
Love and smiles to all
and to all a good day
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Okay, I think I'm going to go. I'm sooo hungry right now. I would still be asleep, but SL got up at 9:30 to talk to her parents, and I can't very well ask her to do it later. Love you all!
PS- My glasses stayed constantly covered with water and fog, so I couldn't see ANYTHING. And when I took them off, I got a headache. Silly glasses.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
So, it's been raining all day. It was quite nice. Now it has stopped, which is also quite nice. As you can see, the colors are barely beginning to change here, which is incredibly frustrating. I keep waiting for some color... But all there is is green. My little roses are doing okay, but they're not getting nearly enough sunlight. Days are too short, I guess. Poor little guys. SL is also sad about it. I'm going to keep taking care of them, though, and maybe try putting them under my natural light lamp. Hopefully that works- because otherwise they won't last the winter. The room is clean!!!! It hasn't changed much since you all last saw it, but I thought I'd keep you imaging my location from which I write, and I thought some pics would help. It's very comfy cozy. SL and I haven't tried the heat yet, though it has been cold. See if you can find my surprise in this picture. See it? See it? There it is!!!! Yay Auntie KHM!!!! It would be my snazzie new 4 gig Ipod mini!!! And it's very cool. Right now it's charging, me already having put some music on it for later use. Say, a walk to Scottish dancing and back, or to dinner, or whatever. Very cool. Very very very cool. Thank you Auntie KHM again.
It's weekendish type time!!! Celebrate!!! I start work tomorrow night. Um... What else? Ooh, I know. I think I did well on my Chinese quiz yesterday, even though everybody else complained that it was super hard. Making homemade popcorn later to watch a movie. Not sure what movie yet, but there will be one. I need to find a paper bag somewhere, though. That could be tricky. My essay that's due Monday is finished, so now I've just got some reading to do. And it's interesting reading. Synge and St. Augustine. You'll get no complaints from me. There is another essay due Wednesday I should start... But not tonight! Tonight is for fun!!! Yay Friday!!! Yay people I love! Yay me!
Smiles and kisses sent your way!
PS- Vacuuming is much more amusing when you have a cute little bright purple vaccum cleaner. Thank you Daddy. SL and I argue about who gets to do it. Love you.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I've been listening to an online radio station that I'm quite loving!!!! It's a Celtic Rock Radio, on Live365. It's surprising how many of the songs I already know, and the artists, but there's seriously sooo much good stuff. They're funny. Right now it's playing a song called "Pabst Blue Ribbon" - and it's one of the one funny ones.
Here's the link:
I hope it works for you. Ignore the commercials. They don't last long... We know most of them by heart anyways.
I'm good. The cold is going away, and the end of the week is coming, and maybe I can sleep and not think and not try to remember a gabajillion little characters. Asking for a lot? I don't care.
As to craftiness, well, I've not had time for much. Still working on the sketch that's taking me uber long. These are progress pics, and I'm pleased. Like I said before- drawing is a hobby that can take forever to gain any skill in. When they say a good artist spends 90 percent of their time looking at the picture, they weren't kidding. It takes patience. Most nights, I sit down for an hour or two at it, and maybe get the shading for the lips just right, or get the right spot for the eye marked off. It's excrutiatingly slow. Sorry.
I'm going to (if I have time) go out and find some more pretty places on campus to take pictures of.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Okay, sorry about the hassle. Click on this link and listen. There is an oopsie at the end, but recording it once was stressful enough for me. Enjoy! (The quality of the recording is not great- but I knew my daddy was missing me playing at home, so this is really for him.)
Smiles and kisses,
Love and hugs,
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I am hereby announcing the fact that I am working on a surprise for auntie KHM's visit (and one for my family, but they won't be tortured when they read this- if they read this.)
And, for anyone who knows me and loves me- I was talked into a facebook account today. If you haven't received a request from me- please e-mail me. You know my e-mail. I'll send you my facebook name.
I have a cold, and I hate it. It's a ruthless cold too. I've been out of it most of the day, due to one measly little benadryl. I'm suffering sniffles, sneezing and a headache right now so that I can sound coherent.
Job training was today. Woot. "Training." Right. That's it.
Nothing too crafty got done. Lots of talking and a revision of an essay. Reading. The good, and the bad!
Love and Kisses
and yeah, I can smile despite my runny nose,
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I know you were missing me! I went to a dance party last night. The DJ was bad, so I didn't stay long, but I had fabulous hair the whole night. I wish my hair would stay like this (the ringlets/down) all the time. It looks so so so good! I got tons of compliments. I have nothing else to report, except that it took me all day to write a really crappy essay. Why, you ask? Because it was sooooooooo boring. All the options were boring. Somehow, no matter what I wanted to do, it was always even more boring. I hate how that works.
All better now that this weekend's homework is done,
Thursday, September 18, 2008
You all tell me I've disappeared, and then, when I come back, nobody cares!
This is my gift to me. It was 18 dollars, and it's sterling silver with turquoise and red coral, and though you can't see it in the pictures, there are symbols on the band. The cab, surrounded by more etching (sun rays and arcs) is a different variety of turquoise. It's very pretty.
I ventured into Red Hook this morning, to get a few necessities. I saw that, besides the bead store, the Chinese Wok, the Indian restaurant, and the French store (all of which I've yet to visit) there is a Celtic gift shop! I really must get there some day when I have lots of time and explore for a bit. the city people complain and say there's nothing to do, but there are also heaps of antique shops there. There's plenty to do, in my book. Window shopping galore!
And in more exciting news, I have dates for my auntie's visit! She's coming to spend several days with me in October (if you read her blog you know that it helps that Rhinebeck- only 15ish minutes away- hosts an enormous wool/yarn festival in October)! Yeah! Family! Visiting! Cool! I'm so hyper excited! October will be fun. I have a long weekend, Auntie K's visit, and family weekend! As well as Halloween. Speaking of which, I need to work on a new costume for that. I will when I go home for the long weekend. Yeah long weekends! Yeah everything! Who said Thursdays weren't great?
On the even more bright side, I now have ALL the fixins for homemade popcorn!!! Celebrate! I am victorious! (Don't tell the orthodentist. I haven't had problems with it yet, but not promising anything.) I have had to go without most of the tastes of home whilst being here, but I won't go without that. Mmmm.... Yummy. Homemade popcorn. Drooling already.
Hugs, Kisses, Smiles, and Lots of Laughs!
KSM (or, in Chinese, MJW)
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Okay, so he's not my best, but I'm not sharing my best. And he's not bad, after all. So, this is what I have been doing when my hands are free as I watch movies. It's not often, but some of them don't take long, and it's nice to know I'm not bad at everything. I'm going to try some in charcoal. I love how charcoal looks, and I'm not bad with it as a medium. I dread it, though, because it's not the easiest to erase...
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Okay, so the post isn't actually about Chinese characters, but the pictures are pictures of some of my vocab for my quiz Thursday. Lots and lots of them. I'm actually enjoying trying to remember them. I have to make up little stories to do it. It's really funny. SL thinks I'm absolutely off my rocker. But hey, what can I do? I think they're rather pretty.
Life is sweet, and life is beautiful!
I've been drawing a lot lately, and am definitely improving. Tomorrow, I promise. I made good on my promise about Granuaile, but nobody was really that interested in her.
There's a great, beautiful song, called The Lass of Aughrim, which is a late 19th century Irish air, and it's beautiful. The lyrics were featured in Joyce's "The Dead", and when a movie was made about Joyce's life, called "Nora" they featured it again, and a beautiful reprise was played in the credits. If you can find it, listen. It's actually longer than you will mostly find video or audio of, but you can also find lyrics for it that have everything given. I learned about this song for my Irish lit presentation.
Love and kisses all!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Her name was Grace O’Malley. She was later known by many many names: The Sea Queen Of Connaught, Gráinne Mhaol, Gráinne Ui Mháille, Gráinne Umhaill. Anglicized versions of her name are Grany O'Maly, Grany Imallye, Granny Nye Male, Grany O'Mayle, Granie ny Maille, Granny ni Maille, Grany O'Mally, Grayn Ny Mayle, Grane ne Male, Grainy O'Maly, and Granee O'Maillie. She was born in 1530, and died in 1603. She is an Irish hero, and one of their greatest historical female figures. I won’t get into strenuous detail, but here are some great tidbits. Her life was shaped around the House of Tudor’s efforts to regain rule of Ireland. Her family refused to submit to foreign rule- they did not recognize the English (later this would be an important part of her life), and so they took to poaching on the seas. When she could not get contracts for her vessel to carry cargo, she would attack ships off the coast of county Mayo. Once, her sons were taken hostage, to ensure her good behavior. (This was a common Elizabethan practice. It enabled them to anglicize the sons, and to ‘domesticate’ clan chieftains.) She sailed to England, guaranteed safe passage by Queen Elizabeth. She requested their release of the Queen, and also, “free liberty during her life to invade with sword and fire all your highness' enemies,” since governor Bingham had impounded her fleet. She refused to bow to Elizabeth, not recognizing her as the sovereign ruler of Ireland. So! A few of her adventures. Can you imagine not bowing to Elizabeth? There are rumors they became good friends. Find out for yourself, I’ve said enough. Suffice it to say, Granuaile became a poetic symbol of Ireland, like the Sean-Bhean Bhocht. (That one I’ll leave up to you.)
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I'm not even kidding.
Last night was so much fun.
I was the only beginner there. There were three others there, that had been doing the dancing for years, and the two teachers. It was a super-intense private lesson for me. And I learned so much. And my ghillies were wonderful. It was incredibly humid, because it had been raining all day, so the floor was sticky despite our best efforts. I wish you people could see it. And I'm sad my plaid skirt is somewhere at home...
We danced four or five different dances. This generally involves the teachers walking us through it for a few rotations, teaching us any of the new figures, and then the music being turned on and us dancing it until we're out of breath and reeling(tee hee. Pun DEFINITELY intended). You get dizzy fast, looking at your partner or not. My favorites last night were Catch the Wind, Bluebonnets, and St. Andrew's Fair. (I think that's what she called it.) If you can find a video of that last, you will see that it is fast paced. It is a three couple dance done in a four couple set. We didn't have a four couple set, we only had three. So, that meant everyone was always dancing. And further, the only pipe song the teacher had with her for that dance was very long. The thing about Scottish dancing is, you keep doing the dance until the song is over. And many songs are written with the dances in mind. CDs are sold with 4 bar, 6 bar, or 8 bar lengths on them. 8 is long. I think that's what she had. That would be ideal if we had many more couples. It was amazing though, and really, do try to find video of it, if you can. Riot, riot. I LOVED it. I've never sweated so much in an hour and a half. And when I had to sit down to take my ghillies off, I thought I'd never make it back up again.
If you have the opportunity- try it! It's wonderful.
And, today, while preparing a presentation about turn of the century Irish songs, I pursued some private research on the topic of "Granuaille." That's an amazingly interesting thing. She was the 'pirate queen' of Ireland, in the seventeenth century. Maybe tomorrow I'll write more about her. But it's really interesting. And the song is beautiful. Celtic Woman does a song called "Granuaille's Dance," and it's great fun, as is their norm.
Love and hugs and all the kisses I've got to give,
Friday, September 12, 2008
We had a class that was held using the Socratic method the other day. We didn't know what was happening. The professor started by asking us if it was okay to make fun of people academically. Should have guessed it then, because that's what he proceeded to do for an hour and a half. And it was so incredibly much fun. We laughed so much, and many of us blushed quite a lot. Our conversation focused on love and hate- and all the interesting places those things can lead. I wish somebody had been recording it. It was hilarious.
Okay, and here's an example of a Mots D'Heures: Gousses, Rames. They're supposed to be French poems, but when read aloud, they sound like English nursery rhymes. They're incredible! And they mean really funny things in French, too. If you can read French, you know the title of the collection sounds like "Mother Goose Rhymes". Teehee.
This is Jack and Jill. In the book, they don't have titles- you're supposed to figure them out on your own.
Houer ne taupe de hile
Tôt-fait, j'appelle au boiteur
Chaque fêle dans un broc, est-ce crosne?
Un Gille qu'aime tant berline à fêtard.
Here's another one... See if you can figure it out.
Un petit d'un petit
S'étonne aux Halles
Un petit d'un petit
Ah! degrés te fallent
Indolent qui ne sort cesse
Indolent qui ne se mène
Qu'importe un petit d'un petit
Tout Gai de Reguennes
PS- That one's Humpty Dumpty. You can find more on the internet.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The sunsets here are amazing. And I'm very sorry I don't have any pictures to put up for you. I'm just going to talk about my sunset cloud watching. I always watch the clouds, because they're so different. Last night, they were sort of dark grey bluish, and their lower edges were gold gold gold! The sky behind them was blue and bright bright orange, and it was just incredible to look at. I must have stood there like an idiot staring at them for ten or more minutes. I haven't done much cloud watching for shapes, mostly for colors. They're usually either whispy or extremely dense, and they tend to fill the whole sky or sit in very organized looking rows. It has been raining quite a lot recently, so there have been lots of clouds. And fall is finally setting in. It was a chilly day. Beautifully chilly. Lots of sun, just not so warm. I love that.
I realized something. My friend VRP and I were trying to figure this out some time ago. We went to the Gross Anatomy Lab at D'Youville college for our human anatomy class last year, and while we were sitting in the room with the cadaver, watching things be poked and prodded and peeled away, we were both ravenously hungry. (Keep in mind it was just before noon and breakfast had been at six. It wasn't really that strange to be a little hungry.) I was a bit concerned that I could be hungry in the presence of something I found so utterly disgusting. And I never figured out why until today, when someone let a bizarre fact slip. Did you know that formeldahyde triggers certain enzymes (or some such equally scientific sounding word) in your brain to make you even more hungry? That's very distressing to me. But it certainly explains the thing.
Well, now that you've had your science lesson for the day, I'd best be going.
Love to all!
Monday, September 08, 2008
I have discovered a new musician! For anyone who wants to know genre right off the bat, I think maybe Girl Folk is appropriate, although some songs do stray. Her name is Erin McKeown. And she's good. My PC was listening to her the other day, and I just remembered how much I liked it, so I looked up some of her stuff and listened, and it's good.
Here are the names of a few of the good songs.
"Born to Hum"
"The Taste of You" - this one's great!
I always love finding new music. I do I do I do.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
My legs still hurt- it's incredible! I can't wait for our next class. And, now I'm waiting for an e-mail from the contra dance people. And then away we go!
Here is another poem I found that you might enjoy. It doesn't have a title.
I think that at this moment
maybe nobody in the universe is thinking about me,
I'm the only one who's thinking about me,
and if I were to die now
nobody, not even I, would think of me.
And this is where the abyss begins,
as when I go to sleep.
I'm my own support and I take it away from me.
I help to drape everything with absence.
That may be why
when you think of someone
it's like saving them.
I love this blog thing. I love sharing these things with you. I love everything about being able to share everything with you! And I'm just so happy today, for no reason. It's great to be happy, and it's great to have beautiful days like it is here today.
Yesterday was our PC's birthday, CRS. We made creme cheese chocolate cupcakes for her, they were delicious. And I made her simple earrings, but I couldn't get pictures of them. They didn't want to focus, so I just gave them to her without trying too much.
And life is good!
Friday, September 05, 2008
Tonight marked the re-beginning of my Scottish dancing lessons! It's fun. I did it once before for a few intense weeks at Chautauqua Institution. That was in seventh grade. I had a lot of fun. So when they announced they'd be having it here, I decided to go. The lesson was two hours long! There were fourteen of us Bardians, with only one male, plus the instructing couple. We learned several dances, including "Welcome to Annandale", "A Trip to Gatlinberg", and "A Trip to Bavaria". There were several others. It was fun. I think my arms and legs my fall off. I will say, the basic steps come back quickly, and it's easy to remember the order of sets. The complex part about social dancing- not just Scottish- is the progression. It's okay if it's a four couple dance in a four couple group. But when it's a three couple dance in a four couple group or- even worse- a two couple dance in four couple group, things get quite out of hand. People tend not to pay attention. Always pay attention. Having a strong musical background definately helps. You need to count. But mostly, it's fun, and sweaty, and there will be lots of laughs. There's moving in circles with the slip step- which is one of the most fun- and there's advancing and retreating and all sorts of other wonderful things. Try it, if you have the opportunity. I'm going to be doing it every Friday for two hours. I'm also trying out the contradancing club. That'll be a riot. Good music for both! We never even sat down. It was great.
If anybody is wondering, which I know you're not, these are gillies, the official Scottish dancing shoes. I like them a lot. A lot.
Oh. And my phone is functional!
One more thing. I tried to record me practicing piano for you today. It turns out, I'm a perfectionist. (Who would have known?) Every time I messed up (which is what practice is about), I stopped the recording and deleted it and started over. Some other day, then. I'm going to get over my fear of messing up first. And then you can listen to me practice.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
(I know I spelled it with a 'u'. This is a literary reference. Look it up if you don't know.)
As I believe I mentioned yesterday, I finally managed to remember how to write my Chinese name. And it's beautiful! Here are several different attempts on my part. None of them are perfect, but we do that even when we write our names in English. The upper image is a larger drawing of my name, along with the Pinyin spelling and tone markings. It's a beautiful name, they keep telling me. It means, essentially, "the inner beauty of a girl who likes to study/read." SL, my roommate, picked it for me. Isn't she clever?
There was a false alarm! Apparently, it was just this poem the teacher was having us read aloud. It was sort of stop and go. You know those Chinese tonal poem thing-a-ma-jiggers. Sort of like one of those. Today we were learning greetings and such, and that went exceptionally well. I think I'm getting the hang of the pronunciation. I bet you never thought about French people learning Chinese and the accent they must have, did you? Well, if you ever need to know what it sounds like...
If any of you have tried calling me, you will not be able to get a hold of me, you may have noticed. I don't know how long that's going to be for, just so you know.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
This is the divine piece TLHB. And it is divine. The yarn is thick and warm, but not too heavy. And it's just magnificent to look at. I am so lucky to have two such talented Aunties as I do.
I made a very important discovery today. Any degree of fluency in French is a detriment to learning Chinese. Despite the fact that individual words can sound like French words, if you say those French words together, it just sounds like really botched Chinese. If there was another class that I wished to take, you can bet I would jump ship, but since the adviser has not invited me into the French class, I'm stuck with Chinese. And it's torture. We had to read a poem aloud today. She asked me (alone!) to do it in front of the class, before I had even really figured out how to say it. No good. Madame- I'm sorry if my French goes down the drain. I think this could kill it... It's really funny. People in the class are like, "Ugh, she's such a French major. KSM, it's not French class, it's Chinese!" Oh well.
On the plus side, I have now managed to remember the characters of my name, and can write them almost perfectly. A project for another day!
Much love and many smiles from me to you
PS- Aren't the little Scottie dogs cute?
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Isn't it marvy? It's so much fun, and it's just outside my dorm. I must tell you; it's the BEST relaxation technique. It makes it easy to forget everything important, which is a blessing. Unfortunately, they squeak really badly. People have this tendency of visiting them late at night and early in the morning... And sound travels through air really well. Wouldn't my physics teacher be proud? I learned so much.
Life is beautiful! I must say.
And, despite heaps and heaps of homework and a stack of books I need that have yet to arrive, I'm still smiling!
A package arrived today from the other wonderful auntie! That would be TLHB. And it, likewise, was wonderful. They keep sending sweet stripes. Gotta love that, tell you what. She sent me this stunning shawl. I'll post a picture tomorrow. I hope you like tinterhooks.